My plans for a spring altar are taking place over the weekend as we celebrate the Spring Equinox, so I don’t have a photo of it yet. I do have many altars around my home though!
This goddess in my photo for the day is one we just made yesterday and is a portable altar of sorts. I carry my little goddesses all over the place with me and set them wherever I am = tiny altars everywhere, all the time.
As you will notice in my pictures and on instagram, I like to use the #havegoddesswilltravel. 😉 I love to see other people’s pictures of where their little goddesses have gone with them. Our goddesses are very durable and portable. They can accompany you almost anywhere without fear of them being broken (also, since they’re small, they are easy to tuck into pocket, shirt, or purse).
I have a St. Patrick’s Day anecdote to share as well. St. Pat’s is a significant event in my hometown and the college is my alma mater. I don’t feel like I can not do St. Pat’s. It is part of my local “heritage.” Yesterday, I was explaining to my kids though about how St. Patrick perhaps drove the pagans/Goddess out of Ireland and how snakes are a metaphor for that. We went into the skating rink for playgroup and my kids played different arcade games. My daughter won two little prizes totally randomly from two different machine full of all kinds of things and both of them were green snakes! (Different kinds.) Felt somehow symbolic–not driven out after all! 😉
The theme for Day 7 was Garden. I have lots of pictures for it, but not a lot of words. We have been working outside every day and enjoying it so much. Planting fruit trees. Mulching. Pulling up old things in the garden. Putting down new rows in the greenhouse. Planting lettuce and peas in the greenhouse. We’re planning to finally get catfish in the aquaponics system this year. The goldfish we started with are massive. They were originally tiny little 50cent “feeder” goldfish. Now look at them!
Mark pruned the vines in the vineyard also:
Sage and elderberry are both coming up, though they’re planted in difficult locations and have to struggle quite a bit!
Elderberry tries again
Sage with too much competition and not enough light, but making an effort anyway!
Let us greet this morning with smiling faces
Hearts full of glee
Birdsong in one hand
Roses in the other
Let us dance to River’s music
And Earth’s heartbeat
Under quickening leaves
We are full with the promise of spring.
When I saw the prompt and painting for today, I instantly had this poem pop into mind!
Scatter my ashes on the tree covered hills
Let my bones come to rest on these stones
Raindrops will come to carry me away
Back to the Fire of All.*
At sunset, I headed to the woods with my drum. I had been thinking about the course prompts for day 6 and found myself singing the little song above. On the way, I stopped to look at the magnolia tree that we planted in memory of my third baby, who died in my second trimester of pregnancy. His death-birth, my hemorrhage and hospital transfer after his birth, and the intense walk through grief that followed, was my death-life-rebirth experience that I’ve written about before–as well as a shamanic initiation into my priestess path and my dedication to the Goddess. His memorial tree is beginning to bud.
After my drum time in the woods, I turned to go back in and looked up to see many buds on the wild plum that was damaged last year and that I feared would not survive. Through its branches, the bright crescent return of the moon…
I am just a blink of an eye
But I can sit, and watch, and wonder.
(*I realized the next morning that my little tune was similar to Kellianna’s Warrior Queen song. **This is actually my writing from March 14)
Categories: #30daysofspring, ceremony, chants, death, drums, endarkenment, moon wisdom, music, nature, night, poems, practices, prayers, pregnancy loss, priestess, sacred pause, self-care, spirituality, theapoetics, woodspriestess
My friend made this meme for me last month using a quote originally part of a blog post I wrote called Thealogy of the Ordinary, and later used in my Earthprayer book. I thought it was perfect for today*!
Had a truly beautiful day of ceremony and restoration today. I keep trying to take a “day off” and totally failing. Today made up for it as well as reminded me why I can NOT accept letting go of my personal magic in order to “get things done.” Went on a mystical morning walk into the deep woods with my husband and our youngest child. Did a sacred bathing ceremony of renewal for myself. Then, did a lunar priestess ritual in my tiny temple, but invited my husband to participate. We meditated, passed the rattle, chanted, did some candle work, and then listened to a shamanic drum journey together. I didn’t see a lot visually during the journey, but I did have really dramatic physical sensations around my forehead, the top of my head, and my “third eye” as well as hearing flute music (in addition to the drum, even though there was only a drum!)
I feel I have been VERY close to the edge of total burnout and perhaps something bad happening (health-wise) to me lately. I’m so happy to be happy again today!
I finished three intense projects and went on a big vacation as well as finished up a class (including final paper grading, etc.) what seemed like all at once and I feel like I dipped too far into my “reserve” energy and even went beyond it in order to get it all done. Very depleted. I also noticed it helps to acknowledge: “yes, it makes sense that you feel depleted. That was a LOT to do. It’s okay that you feel that way.” I think I had been feeling annoyed with myself for feeling depleted or like I “shouldn’t” feel that way!
My sweetie in the woods. He isn’t in my pictures very often, but he’s there!
Ahhh! My beloved rosebush is leafing out.
Mini Maiden altar for sacred bathing ritual.
Mini altar for lunar priestess ritual and drum journey.
Spent the late afternoon planting seed potatoes and working in the greenhouse a bit.
Anyway, a little dedicated attention to my own renewal goes a long way! I will not neglect it again.
(*actually from March 13)
Categories: #30daysofspring, ceremony, drums, family, practices, priestess, retreat, ritual, sacred pause, seasons, self-care, spirituality, woodspriestess
“Our fiery star leaps up onto the ridge
throwing the glow of life all over everything
giving us one more chance to leap
from everyday mind into the wonder of being!
Leap into this very day
where there are a thousand ways to know love
and Spring is a promise that will be kept.”
–Cathy Casper (We’Moon on the Wall calendar)
Operation Soul Restoration & Replenishment Day 1 successful! Went out and discovered all these wonders: the “ephemeral pool” in our field alive with a chorus of frog song from the peepers, buds on the wild plums, beginning blooms on the newly planted apple trees, and a baby who loves the wild.
(He’s pointing up because he thought the peepers were birds! This post is actually from March 12.)
I took this photo at tonight’s* Pink Tent Circle and then laughed to see how it literally portrays an edge between winter and spring–the feet with socks and the bare feet!
Not a lot of time to write. Feeling the tug of springtime and bird song and yet feel I’m spending too much time indoors, when my soul longs for the peace of my cherished woods. Had a long conversation with my husband tonight about restructuring our schedule and boundaries to allow me some more time off for renewal and self-care. I know from past experience that it is ME who has to make my woodstime a priority. The whole family, and my work, benefit from the solace and wisdom I find there and yet…I keep holding it away from myself like a carrot on a stick…my reward that I have to earn each day and sometimes don’t get around to. That changes NOW. I tried to change it last month, but dissertation writing and business preparation before going on vacation precluded the reinstating of my woodspractice as a daily priority rather than a scrap at the end. My self-care feels like it has really suffered in the last month and I’m really feeling the emotional impact of that neglect tonight.
So, I’m recommitting here and now! Thanks for witnessing me.
(*actually March 11. And, yes, I know I also said several months ago that I was recommitting to my daily practices. Took a while for my promise to actually catch up with me!)
While it isn’t exactly returning from the “land of the dead,” I am still engaged in The Return journey from the vacation we went on at the end of February. It is amazing how long it takes to catch up/return from taking time off. Additionally, it keeps be highlighted for me how often I bargain with myself to “earn” the right to a break–including sometimes eating breakfast! I’m ready to alter this pattern and to honor space and time for rest and renewal in my life regularly, instead of “earning it” by catching up with all my work and doing all my to-dos!
My work, life, and play are so intertwined and interconnected though it can be hard to differentiate “work” from “renewal,” which is a good thing (most of the time). For example, today* I finished packing and shipping kits for my upcoming classes and I love creating and sharing these things with others.
At my baby’s naptime, rather than get out my computer for more “catch up” I got out my clay instead and sat next to him in bed creating some new sculpture prototypes including some meant to be supportive companions for hospice settings.
(*really, March 10)
I’ve been taking Joanna Powell Colbert’s 30 Days of Persephone’s Return course (and coincidentally reading a novel about Persephone that was free on Kindle recently). I’ve been posting in the companion Facebook group, but it is Day 7 now and I haven’t followed my old pattern and also made a companion blog post for each day. I miss that practice and the “stretch” required to post each day, even if I don’t have anything dramatic and exciting to post about. So, I’m going to go ahead and share posts for each day so far and hopefully continue with the daily post after that point (be prepared for a quick avalanche of posts all in a row!).
The first day drew our attention to the inner maiden. I offer an Inner Maiden workshop and do inner maiden work through both the Red Tent and the Womanspirit courses I teach. I feel like I struggle with the Maiden though–she feels far away and distant. Also, I have a five-year old daughter and sometimes I have to really catch myself to remember: I have The Maiden RIGHT in front of me. I think being a mother at this stage of life really kind of blends the question together–do I view The Maiden through the eyes of the mother-of-a-maiden, or as a once-maiden myself, and how do I connect with my own inner maiden while being so thoroughly immersed in mothering, including mothering-of-a-maiden…
The first picture I shared in the course is of my little maiden:
My mom took it last spring, but it is the one that came to mind.
The second is the one I thought of when I thought about how I connect to the maiden within and it is in my laughter and letting go (I laugh frequently, but I let go rarely!) This picture was taken when my family was messing around with my dad’s jug band equipment (homemade musical instruments. I’m on the washtub bass! My husband is on the cigar box guitar he made from scratch and my kids are all joining in too):
The third photo is me as a little girl (taller one) with my sister in our prairie dresses sewed by my grandmother so we could play Laura and Mary. My dad made us a covered wagon in a trailer too! I laugh because I only had one “real” prairie bonnet and dress as a girl, but I have three as an adult!
The final picture is my response to the photo prompt. On the course’s opening day, we had been working on these rose quartz bracelets as gifts for the participants in the Pink Tent Circle this month.